Jacobus Theodorus 'Jacob' Abel, Swiss Mountain View

Photo courtesy of Dave Penman (All rights reserved)


Country House
Swiss Mountain View
? c.1826
Medium and support
Oil on panel
Overall height: 42.5 cm, Overall width: 52 cm
Jacobus Theodorus 'Jacob' Abel (1803-1866)
Catalogue Number
  • Lower left
  • Signed lower left 'JTAbels ft'


The Dutch landscape painter Jacobus Theodorus ‘Jacob’ Abels was born in Amsterdam, where he was a pupil of the animal painter Jan van Ravenswaay (1789–1869). Following a visit to Germany in 1826, the year of his marriage, he moved to The Hague and lived subsequently in Haarlem and Arnhem. His wife, Cornelia Johanna van Os, was the daughter of the Dutch painter and engraver Pieter van Os. Like Sebastian Pether, also represented in the collection at Trewithen (TN9 and TN38), Abels was best known for his moonlit landscapes.1 The location of the present landscape is unknown, although the curious elongated rock formation in the left middle distance is reminiscent of the Elbe sandstone mountain range in Saxony, south-east Germany. The mountains are known also as ‘Saxon Switzerland’, which may explain the title of the painting, deriving possibly from Abels’s sojourn in Germany. The artist is not known to have visited Switzerland. His work is also rarely found in British collections, suggesting perhaps that the picture was acquired during a visit to the Continent.

by Martin Postle


  1. For an account of Abels’s life and work see Jef Rademakers, Jacob Abels: Schilder van de nacht, Haarlem: Frans Hals Museum, 2009.


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